Are you wondering what the difference between an RV converter vs battery charger is? We have you covered and break it down here.
If you’re new to the RV world and have been reading in a bunch of online forums, you might be confused by the different terms that are sprinkled throughout. Owning an RV (even as a weekend warrior) means that you will have to understand your RV’s electrical system and in some instances, need to troubleshoot it.
You’ve probably heard the terms “RV converter”, “RV invertor”, and “battery charger” when researching your electrical system. To save you the confusion, here is what you need to know about an RV converter vs battery charger.
What is an RV Converter?
An RV converter is responsible for converting 120v AC power into 12v DC power.
But how does a camper converter work?
When you plug your RV into shore power or another standard electrical source, the RV converter reduces that 120v AC power down into 12v DC power.
If you don’t have a converter (they’re standard in newer RVs), then your RV batteries will supply the power to all your 12-volt accessories. An RV converter will recharge your batteries when you hooked back up to shore power. This reduces the drain on your RV batteries and lowers the risk of damaging them.
Types of RV converters
There are different types of converters out there. Here are the most common types:
- Multi-stage – A multi-stage converter charges your batteries, keeps them at a consistent level, and shuts them off when they have reached an optimum level of charge.
- High output – If you have multuple batteries that need to be charged or larger applicances running off your DC power, then a high output converter might be for you.
- Deck mount – A deck mount converter can be installed on the deck of your RV.
- Distribution panel – This type of converter is perfect if your older RV is in need of an upgrade. A distribution panel converter can charge your batteries and power appliances.
What is an RV Battery Charger?
An RV battery charger is simply that – it charges your RV batteries.
Types of RV battery chargers
There are different types of battery chargers. Here are the common types:
- Converter charger – This is a basic type of battery charger. And no, you aren’t reading this wrong, a converter charger is what we discussed above. In addition to converting 120v to 12v, a converter charger also charges your RV batteries.
- Inverter charger – An inverter charger is what’s in most modern RVs. This device is very similar to a converter charger, it has the same features, but with one difference. An inverter charger produces 120v AC power from a 12v battery when there’s no shore power.
- Solar-powered – Solar-power RV battery chargers recharge your RV batteries using sunlight.
So, What’s the Difference Between an RV Converter VS Battery Charger?
The two terms are used interchangeably because for the most part, in modern RVs, an RV converter charges your batteries and converts shore power to usable 12v DC power.
Simply, an RV converter is also a battery charger but with added capabilities. While a battery charger only has one function: to charge your batteries.